Marian Claudio is the Director of Innovation Marketing and Business Development for 6 Initiative and is a social media savant. Read more about her story HERE!
FINDING YOUR BRAND IDENTITY THROUGH AESTHETICS & DESIGN
Congratulations! You’ve finally launched your business! You’ve taken a step that most people will never dare attempt and we applaud you for that! Your product/service is this cute newborn infant, bright-eyed and ready to take on the world.
There’s one huge similarity that babies and start-ups have in common. That similarity is that there’s a lot of them. *ba dum tss*
Now that we understand that we are not the first people to start a business/have a baby(read up on our last post that explains this more here), our goal as parents to this newborn is to give it a personality and make it stand out. Unfortunately for us, we live in an age where wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube men and cringy commercials with catchy tunes aren’t enough. In 2019, a social media presence has become the bare minimum to having a strong and marketable business.
5 years ago, social media accounts for businesses were a privilege to have. Now, it is absolutely essential and non-negotiable. When starting a new social media page for your business, one of the first things you think about is: “How the heck can I stand out from my competitors?” The answer is your branding. In fact, it is one of the biggest factors that separate brands like Apple and Samsung. What’s the first thing you think of when you think of sleek and innovative tech?
Having a memorable brand identity is absolutely crucial for social media and overall business presence. It is not something that business owners can overlook anymore. If you’re reading this, I know you probably understand WHY it’s important to have a good brand. The question that most people tend to ask us is “HOW do I create a brand that stands out?” as well as “WHERE do I even start?”.
From your choice of words and language, to the personality and tone of your images — your visual brand identity is everything that portrays what your business is all about. To start off, here are 5 simple tips on how to stand out from the rest when creating your business page:
1. Define your BRAND PERSONALITY and values
It’s important to understand the key aspects of your brand that you want to communicate to your audience, then translate them into a visual medium. Here are a few questions to get your creative juice flowing:
- In 3–5 words, how would you describe your brand? - What does you brand specialize in? - What are the core values of your brand? - What is the lifestyle your brand gives off? - Who is your niche/target audience? - What is the feeling you give off to your customers?
Answering these questions and writing it out will help you develop a clear branding voice and isolate a set of keywords that are closely associated with your brand.
2. Create a MOODBOARD
The next step is to create a moodboard based on the keywords you’ve chosen to help your brand come to life. To help you with this, I suggest downloading the Pinterest app to get some ideas. You can simply type in the keywords you’ve chosen and Pinterest will curate pictures associated with those words.
When creating your moodboard, include a mix of various colours, textures, patterns, and quotes to help you better visualize what your Instagram feed should look like. This will also help give you ideas of what pictures to take of for original content on your feed. Here’s an example of a wedding planner’s moodboard:
Your mood board should become the visual representation of the Instagram brand keywords your wrote down earlier.
3. Choose a COLOUR PALETTE & FILTER
Did you know that 90% of product judgment is based on color alone? That’s a huge decision to make for your brand!
From your mood board, you may see certain colours popping out. Reflect on the emotion you want to portray. Aim for a range of light, medium and dark options: 1 primary, 2 complimentary and 2 neutral options. Here’s an example:
From there, you can also choose a filter for your pictures to help with consistency when posting. Colors communicate your tone. So you need to think about what feelings you want to evoke.
Warm coloured filters convey warmth while cool coloured filters are more calming. I would suggest using a simple app like VSCO because it already has preset filters that are ready to use for your photos. Also remember to take clear photos and videos for your feed! If you dont have a good camera on your phone, do use an HDLR camera. Take a couple hours to have photoshoot for your brand so that you can have a whole collection of pictures to play around with.
4. Decide on your brand’s FONT PAIRINGS
Did you ever think that the font type you choose for your logo could say something about you and your business? Or that it could convey your message in a certain light? Most people don’t realize it, but the fonts you choose can speak just as loudly as the words you write.
Choosing a font may seem pretty simple, but it is worth spending some time analyzing which font best depicts your brand voice. For example, how would you feel about an accountant who uses this font on their website or social media pages?:
This font style makes this person’s brand feel like a total joke- like you’re talking to a kid who doesn’t know what he’s doing. That’s fine if your brand is related to humor, but there’s nothing funny about my money, sooo I definitely would NOT trust this accountant, despite what the text says.
Here’s a better example of correct use of a font. Serif fonts tend to represent tradition, respectability, and discernment. Check out how Harper’s Bazaar is using it in their Instagram profile:
If you’re still not convinced, there’s actually some psychology behind font type choices:
5. Create a story and post with a PLAN
Lastly, make your brand come to life my posting with a plan and creating a content calendar. The easiest way to do this is by downloading an Instagram planning app. Here are a few of my favourites: Planoly, Preview, Plann. Play with each app and choose one that you feel most comfortable with. These will help you craft your branding story and create a cohesive Instagram feed. You can easily drag and drop your photos onto the visual planner, rearrange them to see how they’ll look in your Instagram feed, and then save to schedule them. By doing this, you can take the guesswork out of posting, and spend more time focusing on other important areas of your Instagram marketing strategy.
These are my top 5 tips in creating a brand identity through aesthetics and design when starting off your new social media page. I hope it helped! Remember: visual brand identity is more than just photos. It’s the sum total of everything your audience can see when they look at you. Together, all of those visual elements tell a story. That story can re-affirm your values or take away from them. Bye!